CHAPTER IX. JAPAN AS COLONISER
HISTORY has repeatedly shown "how wide the limits stand between a splendid and a happy land." As with individuals, so with nations, greatness and happiness lie, alas! too often at opposite poles. What belongs to the one may be shared by the other; but, as a rule, he who plucks the flower must forego the fruit. Falsely or truly (it is not now my purpose to discuss the moral or political issues involved in colonial enterprise), modern nations vie with one another to express their greatness and splendour in territorial expansion, or else in ethnic colonisation.
With the acquisition of the small island of Formosa in 1895, Japan joined the ranks of colonial powers. Since then, she has added the southern half of the island of Saghalien by the treaty of Portsmouth in 1905 and the kingdom of Korea, now officially called Chôsen, by annexation in 1911. Besides these territories, Japan holds the small province of Kwang-tung in the Liao Tung peninsula, as well as a long and narrow strip of land along the South Manchurian railroad. These last two were leased from China in continuation of the contract which that nation had made with Russia before the war.
In recounting what Japan has done as a coloniser, I shall for several reasons devote my time to a review of what she has achieved in Formosa. In the first place, because it is the first, and may be called the only colony with which we have had experience of any length; in the second place, because it has served the purpose of educating us in the art of colonisation; and in the third place, because the administration of this island forms a precedent for the government of later acquisitions. To these three reasons may be appended one other-namely, that I can speak of Formosa from a long and personal connection with it; and to me the last is here the strongest and the best reason.
Before proceeding further, let us refresh our memory regarding geography.
Scattered over a wide surface of the globe are about a dozen places christened with the Portuguese term Formosa-"Beautiful." It is needless to add that the word is of Latin origin, despite the fact that it is not to be found in the ancient or in the mediæval list of nomina geographica. Among the modern places bearing the name, some are so small that many gazetteers do not condescend to notice their existence.
There is an immense territory of the name of Formosa covering 42,000 square miles, in the north of Argentine. Then there is a little town of the same name on the north-eastern coast of Brazil, as well as one on the southern coast of South Africa. Among the group of the Bissagos islands, is a Formosa. In the interior of Europe, too, on the Russian border, near the Danube, is a village of the same name. On a map of Asia, we find Mount Formosa, Formosa River, Formosa Strait, Formosa Banks, etc. On the American continent, in Bruce County, Ontario, there is a settlement called Formosa. In the slightly modified form of Formoso, there is a banking and post village in Kansas (Jewell Co.), and in the still more modified Spanish form of Hermosa, one meets with the same name in New Mexico (Sierra Co.), in South Dakota (Custer Co.), and in California.
Thus, in Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America are found Formosas. But the Formosa which is the subject of my discourse, is, I suppose, the best known of them all. It is an island, lying a short distance off the eastern coast of China. Its area is 14,000 square miles, being about 240 miles in length, with the Tropic of Cancer crossing through its centre. Of volcanic formation, ranges of slaty and schistose mountains, mainly of the Tertiary age, run through its length, some of their peaks towering as high as 13,000 feet. The eastern coast is rocky and steep, affording very few landing places; but the western coast consists of flat, fertile, alluvial plains, where are raised rice, sugar cane, tea, ramie, bananas, oranges, and sweet potatoes. Among the mountains grow gigantic trees of various kinds, the most important being camphor and hinoki (Thuya obtusa.)
The island is as beautiful as it is fertile. The Portuguese navigators, as they sailed along the eastern coast, were so charmed by its precipitous but wooded mountains, its fantastic rocks and the foaming billows which dash against them, that they put down in their log-book their favorite name of "Ihla Formosa." From the other side, the Chinese, who can quite easily reach the western coast in their junks-the distance from Foochow to a Formosan port is only a little over a hundred miles-were struck with its beauty, as from their anchorage they saw hillsides inhabited and cultivated, and they called it Taiwan, the "Terraced Bay," which is still the official designation of the island. The Japanese, too, had long known of it, and in times past venturesome spirits used to frequent it, but in later days only the poetical name "Takasago" (The High Sandy Tract) remained, suggesting in popular fancy a land of lotus-eaters.
Our knowledge of Takasago was as fanciful as the account given of the island by that famous literary impostor, George Psalmanazar. A Frenchman by birth (born about 1679), he was taken from Holland to England by the chaplain of a Scotch regiment, and was there received with much curiosity and honour because of his well-maintained pretension of being a native of Formosa. His amusing treatise on A History and Description of the Island of Formosa off the Coast of China, published in London in 1704, still remains an amazing document of fabrication. The man evidently showed no lack of intellectual ingenuity when he constructed an entire linguistic system including grammar and vocabulary. It is only to be expected that his description did not tally with facts. Our acquaintance with Formosa, however, was not much better. But it came quite forcibly and unpleasantly upon us in 1874, when the report spread that the savages of Southern Formosa had slaughtered some Japanese sailors who were wrecked on its coast. China at that time held sway over the island. For the murder of her subjects, Japan demanded satisfaction of China, but, as the Celestial Government evaded responsibility, we sent an army to the island itself. It is interesting to notice that a number of American officers at first joined in this expedition; but, being warned by their Government to observe strict neutrality, they reluctantly left our service. After subjugating the hostile tribe, our army left the island, China in the meantime offering to pay for damages. Our interest in Formosa then ceased, and nothing was done towards its conquest or even towards securing its trade.
More than twenty years later, when the war between China and Japan came to an end, Formosa was most unexpectedly brought into prominence. When Japan proposed that China should cede the island, we were not at all sure that the suggestion would be regarded with favour. But the Chinese plenipotentiary, Li Hung-Chang, took up the proposition, as though it were wise on the part of his country to be freed from an encumbrance, and he even commiserated Japan for acquiring it. He pointed out that the island was not amenable to good government: (1) that brigandage could never be exterminated; (2) that the practice of smoking opium was too deep-rooted and wide-spread among the people to eradicate; (3) that the climate was not salubrious; and (4) that the presence of head-hunting tribes was a constant menace to economic development. The island, somewhat like Sicily, had, in the course of its history, been subject to the flags of various nations. Holland, Spain, and China ruled it at different times; a Hungarian nobleman once dominated it; and at one time Japanese pirates had practically usurped supreme power over it. In 1884, the French under the celebrated Admiral Courbet planted the tricolor on its shores, where it waved for eight months. Such instability in government is enough to demoralise any people; but among the inhabitants themselves there were elements which put law and order to naught.
If these were the main causes of chronic misrule or absence of any rule in Formosa, let us see what Japan has done.
In accordance with the stipulation of the treaty of Shimonoseki, one of our generals, Count Kabayama, was dispatched as Governor-General of Formosa. In that capacity, he was about to land on the island with a large army, when he was met by the Chinese plenipotentiary at the port of Kelung, and in an interview which took place on board the steamer Yokohama Maru, the 17th of April, 1895, it was arranged that a landing should be effected without opposition. This marked the first occupation of the island by our troops. There were at that time some Imperial Chinese soldiers still remaining in the island, and they were ordered to disarm and leave the country. Many did so, but a few remained to oppose our advance; there were also a few patriots who did not feel ready to accept our terms-not prepared to accept alien rule,-and these either went from the island or took up arms against us. The so- called patriots proclaimed a republic, one of the very few republics ever started in Asia. Tang Ching-Sung was elected president. The republic of Formosa lasted three weeks, during which mobocracy and deviltry in all its forms reigned supreme, leaving behind no evidence of its existence other than some postage stamps valuable for collectors! At this time the professional brigands took advantage of the general disturbance to ply their trade. Peaceful citizens suffered more from the hands of their own countrymen-that is, from Chinese troops and brigands-than they did from us. Evidence of this lies in the fact that, as our army approached the different towns, it was everywhere received with open arms as a deliverer from robbery and slaughter. As for Tang Ching-Sung, he fled to China, as did also some of the wealthiest inhabitants, although many of these, learning of the security enjoyed under Japanese rule, have since returned.
Though the island was pacified, no one knew what would happen next. We did not understand the character of the people. Very few Japanese could speak Formosan, and fewer Formosans could speak Japanese. There was naturally mutual distrust and suspicion. The bandits abounded everywhere. Under these conditions military rule was the only form of government that could be adopted until better assurance could be obtained of the disposition of the people. To carry out a military régime, it was calculated that some ten million yen (five million dollars) would needed yearly. Out of this necessary sum only three million yen could be obtained in the island by taxation and from other sources of revenue. The balance had to be defrayed by the Imperial, that is by the Japanese, exchequer. Now, in those years, an annual appropriation of six or seven million yen, to be spent in an island far from home, with no immediate prospect of return, was a heavy burden for the rather limited finances of Japan. We know how land values are rising everywhere. Even in Africa, England had to pay very much more than she expected she would have to, in getting land in the south; and I think Italy has by this time found Tripoli rather more expensive than she at first anticipated. A colony that looks at a distance like the goose that lays the golden egg, on nearer approach, and especially when you have to pay the bills, often proves to be a white elephant. So among us, impatient people, infatuated with gloire politique, who had expected great things and great benefits to come from Formosa, began to clamour for greater thrift, and some of the very best publicists went even so far as to propose that the island should be sold back to China or to some other Power. To remedy this state of affairs, in the course of some thirty months governors were changed no less than three times.
The first Governor-General was Count Kabayama, known as a hero of the Chino-Japanese War; the second was no less a man than Prince Katsura, of international fame as our Prime- Minister during the war with Russia; and the third was General Nogi, of Port Arthur renown. Finding that the country could ill afford such a luxury as a colony, the Parliament of Japan cut down its appropriation of six or seven million yen payable from the national treasury by about one-third, thus reducing the subsidy to only four millions. Now who would accept a position held by such a galaxy of talents, but now reduced financially to two-thirds of its former prestige? Only a man of unbounded resource, of keen perception and quick decision-or else only a second or third-rate man-would accept such a place. Japan is forever to be congratulated on finding the right man at the right time for the right place. Viscount Kodama, who, as a member of the General Staff, had made a study of the Formosan problem, was ready to accept the governorship and the task of putting to rights the bankrupt housekeeping of the colony. I am afraid that this name, so well known among us, is much less familiar in America. Perhaps you can best remember it, if I tell you that he was the real brains of the Russo- Japanese War. In the choice of his assistant, the civil governor, he made the discovery, as he called it, of a man who proved himself a true right hand, and who in efficiency actually exceeded his most sanguine expectations. I refer to Baron Goto, who in the last cabinet held the post of Minister of Communications and was President of the Railway Board. Until he was made civil governor of Formosa under Kodama, he had been known as an expert on hygiene, having been a physician. The advent of these two men in Formosa marked a new era in our colonial administration. Upon entering their new duties early in 1898, the first thing they did was to bring about a practical suspension of military rule; at least, it was made subservient to civil administration. Military rule is apt to become harsh, and to the Chinese especially, who are not accustomed to respect the army, it is doubly harsh.
Kodama and Goto, to whom English colonial service was an inspiring example, surprised the official world by a summary discharge of over one thousand public servants of high and low degree. They collected about them men known and tried for their knowledge and integrity. They used often to say: "It is the man who rules and not red tape." In an old and well-settled country "red tape" may be convenient, but in a new colony great latitude of power and initiative must be left to individual men. I emphasise this point because these men, I mean the Governor-General and the civil governor, attributed their success largely to the selection and use of right men.
When General Kodama went to Formosa, he found brigandage still rampant, and with military rule in abeyance there was some likelihood of its becoming worse. To offset this, the constabulary department was organised and made efficient by proper care in choosing men for the police and by educating them in the rudiments of law and industries, to prepare them for their difficult and delicate tasks. Exceedingly arduous are their callings, for these policemen are required not only to represent law and order but are expected to be teachers as well. They keep account, for instance, of every resident of the island, and they watch over every man and woman who smokes opium; they must become acquainted with children of school-age and know which children go to school and which do not. Our Formosan police are expected to instruct the people how to take care of themselves, especially in regard to pests and about disinfection. They perform many duties that would scarcely be required even of the Trooper Police of Australia. They often live in villages where there are no Japanese other than the members of their own families. Of course, they must know the Formosan language and speak it.
Now, under civil administration, armies were not mobilised against brigands, and if there was any trouble, it was the policemen who had to go cope with the situation. The brigands were first invited to subject themselves to law, and if they surrendered their arms, they were assured not only of protection but of means of subsistence. Not a few leaders took the hint and were given special privileges. Those who resisted to the end were necessarily treated as disturbers and as criminals. Twelve years ago the brigands were so powerful that the capital of Formosa, Taihoku (Taipeh), was assaulted by them; but in the last ten years we have scarcely heard of them. I went to Taihoku ten years ago, and, whenever I went a few miles out of the city, half-a-dozen policemen armed with rifles used to accompany me for my protection. For the last five or six years a young girl could travel unmolested from one end of the island to the other-of course, outside of savage or aboriginal districts, of which I shall speak later.
Thus, what Li Hung-Chang said in the conference of Shimonoseki turned out to be of little consequence. According to him, brigandage was something inherent in the social structure of Formosa. He said it was something that could not be uprooted in the island; yet here is Formosa to-day with not a trace of it. That is one of the first things which was accomplished by Japan as a coloniser.
Then, another great evil in the island, to which Li Hung-Chang alluded, was the smoking of opium. When the island was taken over, this subject was much discussed by our people. Some said opium-smoking must be summarily and unconditionally abolished by law. Others said: "No, no, let it alone; it is something from which the Chinese cannot free themselves; let them smoke and smoke themselves to death." What took Baron Goto for the first time to Formosa was the mission of studying this question from a medical standpoint, and the plan he drew up was for the gradual suppression of the evil. The modus operandi was the contol of the production by the Government; because, if the Government monopolises the production and manufacture of opium, it can restrict the quantity as well as improve the quality so as to make it less harmful. Smuggling was watched and punished. A long list of all those who were addicted to this habit was compiled, and only those who were confirmed smokers were given permission to buy the drug. Children and those who had never smoked were not allowed to buy, much less to begin the use of, opium, and strict surveillance was instituted by the police, who, as I mentioned before, know every man in the villages to which they are appointed. The annual returns made of confirmed smokers and of the quantity consumed in the island, show a distinct and gradual decrease. In 1900 those addicted to the habit numbered in round figures 170,000, or 6.3 per cent. of the population. As the older smokers die off, younger ones do not come to take their place; so there is a constant diminution. In five years the number decreased to 130,000 or 3.5 per cent. of the population. We think this is the only right way to deal with this vice. It may interest you, perhaps, to know that American commissioners from the Philippine Islands came to study our system, and that they expressed much satisfaction with its results. Thus, the second evil which Li Hung- Chang said was ineradicable in Formosa, has been greatly weakened and seems destined to disappear.
What man has built up, man can destroy. The artificial habit of opium-smoking can be discouraged by law. But there are formidable natural enemies which confront the sound economic development of the island. I mean its sanitary disadvantages, especially some prevalent forms of disease-above all, malaria and bubonic plague and tropical dysentery.
What money and the spirit of enterprise have undertaken has so often been largely nullified by a small mosquito. There are no less than eight kinds of Anopheles, responsible yearly for at least twenty per cent. of all cases of sickness, many of which end in death.
Chiefly owing, directly or indirectly, to malaria, the population of Formosa has never been very great. It appears that in pre-Japanese days, the population of the island was recruited by immigrants from China. Only lately is the birth-rate slowly showing a net increase over and above the death-rate. The mortality from malaria has been roughly estimated at three-and-a-half per thousand of population. Among the Japanese, this rate is diminishing, but not among the Chinese. The fact that new-comers from Japan are so easily attacked, is the greatest drawback to colonising the island. Sugar-mills, for want of sufficient labour, have imported Japanese; but usually one-third of them cannot be depended upon-that is to say, the efficiency of labour maybe said to be diminished by one-third on account of malaria. When I went to Panama last winter, nothing commanded my respect for the American work conducted there more than Colonel Goethals's system of sanitation. As I meditated upon the careful detail of medical supervision in the Canal Zone, I naturally compared the results with the situation in Formosa, and thought if we could afford to spend as much money as the Canal Commission does, if Taiwan were smaller in size, if it could be brought under military administration, and if there were no ricefields-then we might succeed better in our crusade against the insect. Even under present conditions every effort is made to drive out malaria; and in the meantime an army of scientists is advancing against the Anopheles in biological, physiological, and chemical columns, with clearly visible results. In the barracks outside of Taihoku, there is little malaria. In the town itself, the improved drainage-a sewerage system having been constructed of the stones of which, in Chinese days, the city walls were built-has evidently contributed toward the same end. So, also, has the good water supply, which has taken the place of wells and cisterns. Then, too, new building regulations enforce better ventilation and access to sunlight. In the principal cities, large portions of the town have been entirely rebuilt. I have heard it said by medical men that if the Japanese coming to Taiwan make their domicile in the capital (Taihoku) and remain there they are quite free from malaria. Other cities, notably Tainan in the south, are making sanitary improvements, so that they will probably show a similar immunity within a few years. As for the island at large, owing to the fact that irrigation is the very life of rice-culture, there are necessarily unlimited breeding-places for mosquitoes. Consequently, general hygienic progress, such as Dr. Boyce describes with just pride in writing of the West Indies, will not be so easy to accomplish in Formosa.
Smallpox and cholera have been practically eliminated from the list of prevalent diseases.
With the bubonic plague, the Government has had a pretty hard fight. Dr. Takaki, who has been chief of sanitation for some years, has devoted his energy and scientific knowledge to the eradication of it by every possible means, so that there has been a steady and regular decrease of pest since 1906.
To give an idea of the decline and fall of the sway of the Black Death, I will state in round numbers the death-rates for the following years:
|1905||. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .||4,500|
|1906||. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .||3,350|
|1907||. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .||3,250|
|1908||. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .||2,700|
|1909||. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .||1,300|
|1910||. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .||1,030|
|1911||. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .||20|
Though we still suffer from its sporadic appearance, we have every promise of its near extinction. At present, the most troublesome disease is tropical dysentery, which, if not usually fatal, is extremely persistent and enervating.
Allow me to insert here a remark about the rinderpest. Some ten years ago, its ravages were so great that we feared we might lose all our water buffaloes and bullocks; but, thanks to vigilance and inoculation, we have for the last five years been having only a few hundred deaths annually, whereas they used to be counted by thousands.
Thus the third great impediment which Li Hung-Chang thought would prohibit progress in Taiwan is being steadily overcome, and now I reach the fourth and last obstruction,-namely the presence of head-hunting tribes, allied to the head-hunters of Borneo made familiar by the pen of Professor Haddon. These Malay people are the oldest known inhabitants of the island. That they are not autochthonous is evident from the tradition, current among many tribes, that their ancestors arrived in a boat from some distant quarter. At present they number about one hundred and fifteen thousand. They are in a very primitive state of social life. The only art with which they are acquainted is agriculture, and that of a very rude sort-what in Europe is called spade-culture, or what scientific men dub "Hack-Kultur" (hoe culture), as opposed to agriculture proper,-a kind of farming which Mr. Morgan in his Primitive Society first explained as a precursor of real agriculture, in which the plough is used. They raise upland rice, millet, peas, beans, and some common vegetables, such as pumpkins and radishes. They do not know the art of fertilising land, and they look upon manuring as an act of contamination.
They have scarcely any clothing; a few tribes wear none. Their houses are usually built of wood and bamboo and are roofed with slate or straw. Scrupulously clean in their personal habits, bathing frequently, they keep their huts very neat. In character, they are brave and fierce when roused to ire; otherwise, friendly and childlike. They must have occupied the alluvial plains of the coast in years gone by, but were driven upward by the Chinese immigrants, Hakkas and Haklos, until they now dwell among almost inaccessible heights.
What concerns us most nearly in their manner of life, is their much venerated custom of consecrating any auspicious occasion by obtaining a human head. If there is a wedding in prospect, the young man cannot marry unless he brings in a head, and the susceptibility of the human heart being much the same in savagery as in civilisation, this is a tremendous spur to head-hunting. A funeral cannot be observed without a head. Indeed all celebrations of any importance must be graced with it. Where a bouquet would be used by you, a grim human head, freshly cut, is the essential decoration at their banquet. Moreover, a man's courage is tested by the number of heads he takes, and respect for him grows with his achievements. Thus the gruesome objects adorn the so-called skull-shelf, for the same reason that lions' and stags' heads are the pride of a gentleman's hall. One sometimes comes across a hut, near which is placed a tier of shelves ornamented with heads in all stages of decay-the trophies of some brave head-hunter!
The district where they roam is marked off by outposts, which I shall soon describe. Like the "Forbidden Territory" or boma in British East Africa, no one is allowed to enter the "Savage Boundary" without permit from the authorities. The importance of this decree will be obvious if I state that its area covers more than half of the island, and when the savages want a head, they steal down, hide themselves among the underbrush or among the branches of trees, and shoot the first unlucky man who passes by. I was told of one savage who had his rifle so placed on a support that he could shoot any person who happened to walk past a certain fixed distance and at a certain height. There he waited for days for somebody to come within range; and he succeeded in getting a head! With such people it is practically impossible to do anything. We have made repeated attempts to subjugate them; but so far we have not succeeded in doing as much damage to them as they have done to us.
During Chinese ascendency the Government built a line of military posts, somewhat like the trocha, of which one still sees remains in Cuba. But after we had tried different methods, we came at last to the use of electrically charged wire fences. At a safe distance from savage assaults, generally along the ridge of mountain ranges, posts about five feet high are planted at intervals of six or seven feet, and on them are strung four strong wires. On each side of the fence a space of some thirty feet or so is cleared of brush, so that any one approaching may be detected at once. All along the fence are block-houses, perhaps three, four or five in a mile, guarded by armed sentinels (usually Chinese trained as police), who are semi-volunteers. The most important feature of the fence is that the lowest wire has a strong electric current running through it. Such a wire fence stretches a distance of some three hundred miles. It costs thousands of dollars to keep it in order; yet every year we extend some miles farther into the savage district, so that their dominion is being more and more restricted to the tops of the mountains. When they are practically caged, we make overtures to them. We say, "If you come down and don't indulge in head-hunting, we will welcome you as brothers,"-because they are brothers. These Malay tribes resemble the Japanese more than they do the Chinese, and they themselves say of the Japanese that we are their kin and that the Chinese are their enemies. Because the Chinese wear queues, they think that their heads are especially made to be hunted. And now every year, as I say, we are getting better control over them by constantly advancing the fence, and owing to the fact that they are in want of salt, cut off as they are from the sea. Then we say, "We will give you salt if you will come down and give up your weapons." Thus tribe after tribe has recognised our power through the instrumentality of salt, and has submitted itself to Japanese rule. Here I may say, to the credit of these primitive men, that when once their promise of good behaviour is made, it is kept. When they submit themselves, we build them houses, give them agricultural tools and implements, give them land, and let them continue their means of livelihood in peace.
Thus I have dwelt in a very sketchy manner on the four points to which Li Hung-Chang, in the conference at Shimonoseki, alluded as great obstacles in the way of governing Formosa. What, now, is the result? At first we could not manage the colony with the money that we could raise in the island; every year we had to get some subsidy from the national treasury. It was thought that such a subsidy would be necessary until 1910. But by the development of Formosan industries-the better cultivation of rice, the improved production of Oolong tea, for which you are the best customer, the control of the camphor industry (for nearly all the camphor that you use, if not artificial, is produced in Formosa), the successful encouragement of cane culture, which has increased the output of sugar sixfold in the last ten years-by developing these industries, we can get money enough in the island to do all the work that is needed to be done there. An accurate cadastral survey made landed property secure, enhanced its value, and added indirectly to its taxpaying capacity. The consumption tax placed on sugar alone brings in more than one-third of the public revenue. The growth of Formosa's foreign trade has been such that the customs now return no mean sum. The administration of the Island has been so successful that it attained financial independence two years before the expiration of the term fixed for it.
There still remains much to be done. Irrigation work, for instance, is being carried out on a large scale. Then, there is the improvement of the harbours. Both in the north, at Kelung, and in the south, at Takao, commodious and deep harbours are now being constructed or improved. We have built a railroad from one end of the island to the other, but there is demand for further extention. Schools and hospitals are to be met with in every village and town, but more are needed. In all these things we think that we have succeeded quite well, especially when we compare our colony of Formosa with the experiments that other nations are making.
In giving this very rough sketch, I have only tried to show the general lines of policy pursued in the development of Formosa. Though the colony was at first thought to be a luxury, it is now a necessity to us. And the example that we have set for ourselves will be followed in our other colonies.
I may say that the general principle of our colonial policy in Formosa was, first of all, the defence of the island. Much is said about our increased navy. Some people in America think that we are enlarging our navy prompted by a dubious motive; but with the acquisition of Formosa, of the island of Saghalien, and of Korea, our coast-line has been greatly increased, and still the augmentation of our fleet is not sufficient for the proper defence of all our shores.
The second principle is the protection of property and life, and the dissemination of legal institutions-the rudimentary functions of a well ordered state. People unaccustomed to the protection of law feel as though it were despotism. But they will soon find that, after all, good government and good laws are the safeguard of social well-being, and we have to teach in Korea as well as in Formosa, what government is and what laws are.
You read now and then in the newspapers of arrests in Korea, and forthwith Japan is charged with being a cruel master. Let the world remember that a change of masters is rarely made without friction. It takes some time for a people to know that a jural state means enforcement of justice, and that this does not imply encroachment upon personal liberty, which under the old régime Korean courtiers identified with royal favour. Without law, no real liberty is conceivable, and lawlessness must suffer its own consequences.
Then the third point is the protection of health. I have spoken to you of what we have done in Formosa. A similar policy will be pursued in Korea. In an interview with Prince Ito in Seoul, when I said that the population in Korea had not increased in the last hundred years and that perhaps the Korean race was destined to disappear, he replied: "Well, I am not sure. I wish to see whether good laws will increase the fecundity of the Korean people."
The fourth consideration is the encouragement of industries and means of communication. In Formosa we have seen how much the Government has done to improve the quality as well as the quantity of rice, salt, camphor, and sugar. Nearly all the improvements in these industries have been initiated or suggested by the Government. As to means of communication, the prefectures vie with each other in building new roads or in making old ones better.
The fifth point in our policy is that of education. In Formosa we have just reached the stage where we are taking up educational problems seriously. We could not do it sooner, because our idea was first of all to give to our new fellow-subjects something that would satisfy their hunger and thirst; their bodies had to be nourished before their minds. Now that economic conditions are so much better, schools are being started in all the villages.
These, then, are some of the broad lines of colonial policy which we have practised with good results in Taiwan, and which will be carried out in Chôsen. In writing of the Japanese rule in Formosa, Mr. MacKay, the British consul there, concludes his article by expressing two doubts: one in regard to the commingling of races, Japanese and Formosans; the other, in regard to the Japanisation of the Formosans. He seems to doubt whether either will take place. As far as the Japanese are concerned, they do not trouble themselves about these questions, any more than do the English in their colonies. I think assimilation will be found easier in Korea, for the reason that the Korean race is very much allied to our own. In Formosa, assimilation will be out of the question for long years to come, and we shall not try to force it. We put no pressure upon the people to effect assimilation or Japanisation. Our idea is to provide a Japanese milieu, so to speak, and if the Formosans adapt themselves to our ways of their own accord, well and good. Social usages must not be laid upon an unwilling people. An ancient saying has it: "He who flees must not be pursued, but he who comes must not be repulsed." If the Formosans or the Koreans approach us in customs and manners, we will not repulse them. We will receive them with open arms and we will hold them as our brothers; but if they do not desire to adopt our way of living will not pursue them. We leave their customs and manners just as they are disposed to have them, as long as they are law-abiding. Our principle is firmness in government and freedom in society. Firmness in government is something which they did not have before, and that is what we offer to them. If they look upon it as they used to look upon court intrigue and family vendetta, they must learn at their own cost what modern nomocracy means. At the same time, Japan must know that the secret of colonial success is justice seasoned with mercy. Should she fail to recognise this ancient truth, she will but add another illustration of the poet's words cited at the beginning of this chapter.